Friday, May 20
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May 7, 2022 at 7.45pm UK at Stadio Olimpico
2 - 0
Patric (41'), Alberto (59')
Hysaj (81')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Vieira (79')

Preview: Lazio vs. Sampdoria - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Lazio vs. Sampdoria - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Serie A clash between Lazio and Sampdoria, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Having both enjoyed important wins last weekend, top-six contenders Lazio and struggling Sampdoria seek another three points at Stadio Olimpico on Saturday.

While the hosts fought back from behind to secure victory in a seven-goal thriller at Spezia, Samp seized Derby della Lanterna glory to keep the bottom three at arm's length.

Match preview

After taking just a point from their previous two matches - including a last-gasp defeat to Milan - Lazio were clinging onto sixth place in the Serie A standings when they arrived in La Spezia last weekend.

Though their defence proved particularly fragile at Stadio Alberto Picco, the Biancocelesti demonstrated great character to come back from a goal behind three times; drawing level through Sergej Milinkovic-Savic's 68th minute strike.

Then, with time running out, Italy defender Francesco Acerbi forced home an inventive finish to spark wild celebrations among the fans who had travelled to Liguria from Rome, though he was not keen to share the moment with them, given an ongoing dispute.

Now neck-and-neck with city rivals Roma in the table - with the pair locked together on 59 points ahead of the final three rounds - Lazio are in the thick of a scrap for European football next season, as both Atalanta and Fiorentina trail the capital clubs by just three points.

Hosting two of their last three league games at the Olimpico should aid their cause, but in between playing Sampdoria and Verona on home soil, the Aquile will come up against coach Maurizio Sarri's former club Juventus.

They will certainly start as favourites to take another step towards Europe on Saturday, though, as not only did Sarri's side win 3-1 at Marassi in December's reverse fixture, but Lazio also have a long record of dominance over their latest opponents.

With only two wins from their last 20 Serie A matches against Lazio, it is fair to conclude that Sampdoria have been the junior partners in this pairing over the past decade, and they may travel to the Eternal City more in hope than expectation.

Drawing towards the end of a tortuous campaign beset by inconsistency, Samp were winless in the four matches preceding last weekend's Genoa derby and had beaten only the league's last-placed side, Venezia, since the middle of February.

Still flirting with the bottom three - of which their city rivals remain a part - they had won just three of 16 Serie A fixtures in 2022 before kicking off at a fraught Stadio Luigi Ferraris. However, events during the 90 minutes now see the Blucerchiati seven points clear of the drop zone with the finishing line in sight.

January signing Abdelhamid Sabiri turned in a 25th-minute goal to give them a lead they would never relinquish - not even when Genoa captain Domenico Criscito stepped up to a penalty deep into stoppage time, as goalkeeper Emil Audero made a crucial save to deny the Grifone a draw.

Victory, then, not only puts Samp on the verge of securing their Serie A status, but also had the added bonus of pushing their foes closer to the trapdoor.

Completing the Derby double is certainly a highlight for under-pressure coach Marco Giampaolo, who has struggled to turn things around at Marassi since returning in January, but with Fiorentina and Scudetto hopefuls Inter still to play in the closing weeks, the schedule does not help his hopes of maintaining that momentum.

Lazio Serie A form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W

Sampdoria Serie A form:
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • W

Team News

Though he continues to enjoy some good fortune in terms of availability, Maurizio Sarri may be without Pedro again this weekend, as the former Spain winger has been sidelined since last month due to a calf injury.

Ciro Immobile - who became the 10th player in Calcio history to score 150 goals for a single Serie A side when converting a penalty last week - will once more captain Lazio from the front.

Currently leading the Capocannoniere standings by four goals from nearest challenger Dusan Vlahovic, Lazio's leading scorer (with 27) should once more be joined by Mattia Zaccagni and Felipe Anderson in an attacking trident.

Generally a cautious coach, Marco Giampaolo set his team up in a 4-1-4-1 formation for the Derby, and is likely to persist with such an approach on Saturday.

As midfielder Tomas Rincon returns from a one-match ban, the Venezuelan veteran could feature in the visitors' engine room, but Albin Ekdal and Morten Thorsby remain favourites to start.

Meanwhile, Sebastian Giovinco - yet to make his debut since joining in January - has been involved in training and may now be selected on the bench.

Lazio possible starting lineup:
Strakosha; Lazzari, Patric, Acerbi, Marusic; Alberto, Cataldi, Milinkovic-Savic; Anderson, Immobile, Zaccagni

Sampdoria possible starting lineup:
Audero; Bereszynski, Ferrari, Colley, Augello; Ekdal; Candreva, Thorsby, Sabiri; Sensi; Caputo

We say: Lazio 3-1 Sampdoria

Riding the momentum from last week's fightback, Lazio also have the greater need for victory in this encounter and will go in all guns blazing on Saturday night.

Samp's season has been underwhelming, to say the least, and as they do not travel particularly well either, an 11th away loss of the campaign should be expected.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data

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